By Mayshad Mag
Mayshad Magazine is an advocacy platform for empowerment which mainly focuses on empowering women, raising awareness and exploring a contemporary lifestyle.
- Could you please introduce yourself? What do you owe your success to?
Bonjour! I’m Yve-Car Momperousse, Founder, and CEO of Kreyol Essence. I’m a Haitian girl born in Brooklyn who lives between Florida and Haiti. When I am not running a multinational company that is focused on making its mark in the beauty sector all while bringing value to Haiti’s people and economy –my favorite things to do are complete a challenging CrossFit workout, spend time with friends and family preferably on one of Haiti’s beautiful beaches, salsa dancing – and most importantly –watching This is Us with my hubby, Stephane.
- What inspired and motivated you to finally launch your project?
I started Kreyol Essence after having what I call a “hair-catastrophe.” After straightening my hair at a salon, my hair fell out due to damage caused by a hot iron. After crying, I remembered there was an oil my mom used that solved all our problems. She told me the name of our liquid gold is Lwil Maskriti, known as Haitian Black Castor Oil in English.
I ran to the store in Philadelphia, where I lived at the time and was unable to find the authentic black castor oil I was accustomed to. I begged my mom to send me Haitian Castor Oil from her “Haiti stash” and jokingly said perhaps I should start a business that ensures the oil is accessible, not only for myself but for others as well.
As mom and I talked, we thought about the fact that I would have to work with farmers, female producers, and would have to export the product- all activities that stimulate economic activity in Haiti. It is with the livelihood of others that KE was birthed and launched in 2014.
How did you come up with the name of your brand?
Everyone wanted Stephane and me to choose a French name for the business – it’s the thing to do to signify prestige. Some also questioned if a Haitian name would not appeal to mainstream audiences. Since we planned on creating an authentic brand coming from Haiti we were dogmatic about finding a name that would embody the essence of Haiti. In the car, Stephane and I were brainstorming. I asked him to throw out words and things that are quintessentially Haitian. He started rattling words and we were laughing and then he said Kreyol. I exclaimed “Kreyol Essence” and we were both silent. We then repeated it a few times and felt so accomplished picking a name in the car.
Then we realized we had had to decide how to spell it (insert facepalm here). You see Creole is a language based largely on 18th century French with influences from Portuguese, Spanish, English, Taino, and West African languages. that has a mixture of French, English, Spanish, Taino, and West African languages. Haitian Creole emerged from contact between French settlers and African slaves during the Atlantic slave trade in the French colony of Saint-Domingue. It is officially known as Haitian Creole but us Haitians refer to it as Kreyol to signify that it is its own language. Taking another risk, we decided to be true to our culture.
- If you had to share a few words with our audience about how to initiate their lives and projects, a thought that you would like the world to know, what would it be?
Intention. Be clear on what your intentions are for yourself and others with your dreams and life. It helps provide clarity and guide you. I would also suggest that one follows their instincts. Those small whispers that are deep down in your gut are normally correct. Believe in yourself and your destiny. Its okay to be scared. You should be but say yes to the adventure of life.
Lastly, Big ideas have small beginnings. If you are starting a business always build and lay the foundation as if you are a big business (have contracts, a separate bank account, and register your company).
- What are your main objectives in life? What are your hopes for the planet?
My goal as a social entrepreneur is to be of service and help make everything around me beautiful.
The vehicle is through a business that promotes mindfulness and self-care, particularly for women with textured hair that have been ignored, while creating work and economic empowerment for women and farmers.
Our products are plant-based and help with soil erosion and greenhouse gas emission. It’s our pledge to be good stewards of our environment and be an exemplary global citizen one day at a time.
- What experience do you have with humanitarian organizations or any humanitarian acts (if any)? How was it?
We will have to a dedicated blog piece on this topic 😊. We have worked with several humanitarian organizations and I think at their core they mean well. There is an interest to invest and support businesses. However, I do think there is a learning curve on how development organizations should work with small businesses. The reporting, visits, and the pressure they are on to produce short-term results can sometimes come into conflict with long-term and sustainable initiatives.
- How do you feel you’re making a difference today? How would you like to make a difference in the near future?
We are grateful for achieving our goal of adding Haiti to the beauty industry conversation as this helps to promote trade and not aid. Mintel and CB Insights have featured Kreyol Essence Haitian Castor and Haitian Moringa Oil as ingredients to watch. This is also helping to change the discourse of Haiti to one that promotes the beauty of its mountains, beaches, land, and self-care herbal rituals.
We are proud that we created work, directly and indirectly, for over 300 farmers and women. Our goal in the next few years is to create 1,000 sustainable jobs and further add to the content around the beauty of Haiti.
Being a Mayshad Woman is a choice that women make to live stimulated lives with a positive philosophy based on gratitude, acceptance, accomplishment and human empowerment in order to be who they want to be. Mayshad Women handle different aspects of their lives with confidence and make sure to always stick to their values, in other words, to stay themselves. Mayshad Women are free spirits that design and drive their own lives while inspiring others to do the same.
- Based on this description, how would you say that you relate to the Mayshad Woman Philosophy?
I had chills reading the description as these are the ethos of both myself and Kreyol Essence. I am currently on a self-care and self-exploration journey to attain self-actualization. I have accepted that the journey means letting go of certain expectations, people and things. I accept that being authentic, free-spirited, and honest is usually not popular in real life even if some on social media are glorified for it.
My spiritual practice is holistic. In addition to cross fit ,being in nature, cupcakes and wine – I live for super soul Sunday by Oprah, Ajahn Brahm Buddhist youtube talks, Derrick Jaxn (truth for women on the dating scene and managing relationships), TD Jakes and Elevation Church sermons, NPR How I Built This and the Girlboss business podcast. My life coach Diane at woman alive believes that if you live an authentic life it leads to a woman that is alive. These are the things that I do to stay inspired and on track and they align perfectly with the Mayshad woman.